About the Job

You've already chosen a career in nursing for its unique rewards and job satisfaction. Now imagine the extra interest the job will take on working with the Air Force part-time, looking after the varied medical needs of service personnel; helping communities in Australia and overseas; or managing a global aeromedical evacuation system.

If you are looking for an exciting new outlet for your nursing skills, you'll love the variety on offer in the Air Force Specialist Reserve. One day you could be providing perioperative care in modern medical facilities, and the next attending to earthquake injuries under canvas.

In this varied role you'll need to show both initiative and flexibility as you adapt to the dynamics of remote localities, new conditions and other challenges.

As a Nurse (Nursing Officer) in the Specialist Reserve you will be expected to perform with a high degree of skill in your specialist area, while remaining current and competent in that area of practice. Vacancies are usually most common within the specialties of:

  • Critical care nursing (including ICU and emergency)
  • Perioperative nursing
  • Midwifery and
  • Mental health nursing.

Other trauma-related specialties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Click below to find out how to apply to be a Nurse in the Specialist Reserve.

  • If you are currently studying for a nursing degree click Undergraduate' in the Method of Entry above.
  • Alternatively, if you are a fully-qualified nurse seeking a full-time role with the Air Force click Graduate' above.

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

Salary & Allowances

Most Reservists join the Australian Defence Force for the exciting work, the friendships and the lifestyle. But there are many other benefits too, including financial ones.

The pay you receive in the Air Force Reserve goes straight into your pocket with no deductions for tax, and it increases as you gain seniority and experience.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

You will probably be employed at an Air Force base or medical facility close to where you live, but your role may require travel.


Requirements

Age

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 60 years of age inclusive on entry.

Education & Experience

To apply to become a Nurse you must have:

  • A Bachelor of Nursing degree (or equivalent)
  • Completed general nursing training and
  • A current General Nurse registration and annual practicing certificate from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority.

Two of your previous three years of clinical experience must be in a full-time capacity as a Registered Nurse, and in an acute care area relevant to RAAF Nurse duties. Please note that full-time experience in paediatrics, geriatrics or maternity is not acceptable as evidence of two years of clinical experience.

Additional Education and Experience for Mental Health Nursing

A mental health nurse is a registered nurse who holds a recognised specialist qualification in mental health [nursing]. Taking a holistic approach, guided by evidence, the mental health nurse works in collaboration with people who have mental health issues, their family and community, towards recovery as defined by the individual (ACMHN, 2010, p 5)

Essential

Registration

Current unrestricted and unconditional registration as a Registered Nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA).

Education

Bachelor of Nursing Science or equivalent; and a

Post-graduate mental health nursing qualification endorsed by Australian College of Mental Health Nurses ; or

Completion of a clearly defined mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing course, undertaken in Australia as listed below:

  • Clinical Master Degree or
  • Post Graduate Diploma or
  • Direct entry into mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing undergraduate diploma or degree or
  • 3-year hospital based course that led to registration as a mental health nurse or
  • Hospital post registration course (minimum 12 months' full time equivalent) that led to qualifications as a specialist mental health nurse/psychiatric nurse by the relevant nurse registering authority at the time of completion.

Note, a Post Graduate Certificate only is not accepted.

Credentialing

Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Experience

  • A minimum of 3 years post graduate experience within the previous 5 years working in a range of Adult Mental Health Services using an evidence informed interventions including comprehensive mental health assessment, crisis intervention, medication monitoring, relapse prevention, care co-ordination, case management and individual counselling.
  • Knowledge of relevant state/territory policies and procedures governing mental health practice
  • Demonstrated understanding of consumer focus in clinical practice

Currency

Essential

  • Meet the professional development requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and professional association or college.
  • Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses or
  • Able to demonstrate that you have undertaken continuing professional education (CPE) and continuing practice development (CPD) to the equivalent of a minimum of 200 Credential for Practice (CPP) points in total (as per credentialing to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses). Activities must be relevant or directly concerned with/related to practice in mental health.

Experience undertaken in Adult Mental Health must be recent. You must have practiced for at least:

  • 3 months (456 hrs) over the last year
  • 6 months (912 hrs) over the last 2 years
  • 12 months (1824 hrs) over the last 3 years

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

All candidates who are appointed or enlisted into the Air Force Reserve serve an initial period of volunteer service for five years, or until age 65 (Compulsory Retiring Age), whichever occurs earlier. Members may transfer out of an active element of the Air Force Reserve at any time.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Applicants entering the Air Force Active Reserve through the officer stream are required to complete the Initial Officer Course (IOC). You may complete the full-time, residential IOC of 18 weeks, the same as your Permanent Air Force colleagues or the modularised IOC (Air Force AR) training which must be completed within a two year period. Currently all five phases of the IOC (Air Force AR) require residential attendance at the Officers Training School (OTS), East Sale, Victoria.

The phases and their duration are as follows:

  • Phase 1 - Induction/Orientation phase (6 weeks)

  • Phase 2 - Academic Consolidation Phase (3 weeks)

  • Phase 3 - Leadership Preparatory and Ground Defence Preparatory Phase (3 weeks)

  • Phase 4 - Ground Defence Assessment Phase (2 weeks), and

  • Phase 5 - Leadership Assessment Phase (2 weeks).

The aim of the IOC is to develop in newly commissioned Air Force and Air Force AR officers and officer cadets the core military skills, knowledge and attitudes required for effective performance as junior officers.

Employment Training

Air Force AR (Health) officers are required to undertake the Operational Health Support course (1 week) prior to consideration for deployment, either in Australia or overseas.

Other training courses such as the Aeromedical Evacuation (4 weeks) and Aviation Nurse (2 weeks) courses will be required.


Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Download

Salary & Allowances

Most Reservists join the Australian Defence Force for the exciting work, the friendships and the lifestyle. But there are many other benefits too, including financial ones.

The pay you receive in the Air Force Reserve goes straight into your pocket with no deductions for tax, and it increases as you gain seniority and experience.


For more details download our Salary Scales.


Locations

You will probably be employed at an Air Force base or medical facility close to where you live, but your role may require travel.


Requirements

Age

The compulsory retirement age (CRA) for Air Force Specialist Reserve officers is 65 years. The Minister may on one or more occasions extend the CRA age for serving Reservists.

Education & Experience

To apply you'll need a postgraduate qualification and minimum two years experience (post the completion of your postgraduate studies) in that specialty, and be working a minimum of 20 hours a week in the chosen area.

Positions within the following specialties are those most likely to be available:

  • Critical care nursing (including ICU and emergency)
  • Perioperative nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Mental health nursing.

Other trauma-related specialties will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Education and Experience for Mental Health Nursing

A mental health nurse is a registered nurse who holds a recognised specialist qualification in mental health [nursing]. Taking a holistic approach, guided by evidence, the mental health nurse works in collaboration with people who have mental health issues, their family and community, towards recovery as defined by the individual (ACMHN, 2010, p 5)

Essential

Registration

Current unrestricted and unconditional registration as a Registered Nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA).

Education

Bachelor of Nursing Science or equivalent; and a

Post-graduate mental health nursing qualification endorsed by Australian College of Mental Health Nurses ; or

Completion of a clearly defined mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing course, undertaken in Australia as listed below:

  • Clinical Master Degree or
  • Post Graduate Diploma or
  • Direct entry into mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing undergraduate diploma or degree or
  • 3-year hospital based course that led to registration as a mental health nurse or
  • Hospital post registration course (minimum 12 months' full time equivalent) that led to qualifications as a specialist mental health nurse/psychiatric nurse by the relevant nurse registering authority at the time of completion.

Note, a Post Graduate Certificate only is not accepted.

Credentialing

Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse by the Australian Collage of Mental Health Nurses.

Experience

  • A minimum of 3 years post graduate experience within the previous 5 years working in a range of Adult Mental Health Services using an evidence informed interventions including comprehensive mental health assessment, crisis intervention, medication monitoring, relapse prevention, care co-ordination, case management and individual counselling.
  • Knowledge of relevant state/territory policies and procedures governing mental health practice
  • Demonstrated understanding of consumer focus in clinical practice

Currency

Essential

  • Meet the professional development requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and professional association or college.
  • Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses; or
  • Able to demonstrate that you have undertaken continuing professional education (CPE) and continuing practice development (CPD) to the equivalent of a minimum of 200 Credential for Practice (CPP) points in total (as per credentialing to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses). Activities must be relevant or directly concerned with/related to practice in mental health.

Experience undertaken in Adult Mental Health must be recent. You must have practiced for at least:

  • 3 months (456 hrs) over the last year
  • 6 months (912 hrs) over the last 2 years
  • 12 months (1824 hrs) over the last 3 years

Medical & Fitness

To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You may also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before enlistment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

Period of Service

A person appointed as an officer in the Air Force Specialist Reserve serves an initial appointment of five years (including a probationary period of two years) followed by extensions (subject to approval) of five year periods.

Aptitude

Online Aptitude Testing (OAT) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

OAT is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about OAT can be found in the Guide to Online Aptitude Testing for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in an Online Aptitude Test and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Online Aptitude Testing Example Questions.

Citizenship

To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian Citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have a security clearance appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.

Training

Military Training

Specialist Reserve Officer Familiarisation course: 6 days

You will be required to complete officer training at RAAF Base East Sale, VIC, within two years of appointment. Find out more on our training page.

You will also be given as much general service and induction training as practicable, consistent with the limited time available and the need to employ you in your specialist field.

Employment Training

Before you can deploy on an exercise or operation you'll need to undertake an:

  • Operational Health Support course: 1 week

Depending on your specialist role, other training may be required such as:

  • Aviation Nursing Officer course: 2 weeks
  • Aeromedical Evacuation course: 4 weeks

Military Critical Care Aeromedical Transport course: 1 week